Changes to Chain of Responsibility now in effect!

Public news

Changes to National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL) and the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) are now in effect!

Changes introduce a number of aspects that will have a significant impact on businesses that deal with heavy vehicles, regardless of what that involvement is.

These changes will affect anyone who is in the CoR, including:

  • Drivers;
  • Owners;
  • Consignors;
  • Schedulers;
  • Loaders;
  • Packers; and
  • Unloaders

A new primary duty will be introduced on all members of the CoR to try and align them more closely with the workplace health and safety laws. This means that even though you may not have any direct role in driving a vehicle that subsequently is involved in an accident, you still may be liable.

To be liable there needs to be a transport activity being undertaken, which will be given a broad definition in the NHVL, meaning that if you have an interaction with a heavy vehicle it is likely to fall in this category. What will be considered as a transport activity includes:

  • Receiving goods unloaded from a vehicle;
  • Packing goods into a vehicle;
  • Contracting someone to drive a vehicle;
  • Directing someone to drive a vehicle;
  • Repairing a vehicle;
  • Leasing a vehicle; or,
  • Selling a vehicle

Each member in the chain will now have to ensure that they take steps that are reasonably practicable to ensure safety and avoid a potential breach of the NHVL.

Most importantly it will no longer be necessary for a contravention of the NHVL to occur before someone may be held to be in breach. It will be sufficient that you do not have adequate policies or procedures in place to ensure that you are doing all that is reasonably practicable to prevent a breach.

To prepare your business for these changes, you must have policies and procedures in place to show that the right measures are being taken to ensure that the law is being complied with and that everyone in the chain is informed of their obligations. If you need any help with these policies and procedures or want to access to template, click here to contact the MTA for assistance.

If you would like to register your interest in training for your CoR obligations, please call the MTA on 8291 2000 or email wr@mtasant.com.au.